Today was Easter, our first one in lockdown. I did a drive-by birthday parade for my brother with my siblings. I cooked some fish. I wished some friends a happy. I went on social media and liked a few things. And then I sent a text to a kid, well, he’s not a kid anymore, but he’ll always be a kid to me. He grew up in my house.

Not long ago I was told that he wasn’t doing so well. I was given his new number. We texted. I told him that I love him, that he will always be the kid who grew up in my house, my kid, the kid that I love. That is so true. He is beautiful. My wish is for everyone to see what I see, even knowing that many of you won’t. It hasn’t hit you, thankfully, so you may not understand, though I wish you could understand, while being thankful that it has not affected your family.

Wait. It probably has. In some way. You just don’t know it.

Anyway, this kid, who is not a kid, and I had a beautiful exchange. I cried. It was that beautiful. And then life went on. As it does.

So today was Easter. I watched a parade across the street. Well, my neighbors’ kids showed up to wish a Happy Easter while social distancing. That was actually what gave me the thought to do the birthday parade for my brother. It was also what prompted the text to the kid, not such a kid anymore, that I love.

The text came back. As in the number wasn’t working.

A million worse case scenarios filled my head. I panicked. I wondered how I could get from New York to Florida to hug him, to tell him I love him, even if I knew it wasn’t about love. I regretted never meeting his young daughter, the absolute picture of him.

This lockdown sucks. I get that it is necessary, but it sucks. Still, I have taken this time to think, not just about all of the things I’ve failed at miserably, but to think about the people I love and how maybe I need to love them more or, at least, show it better or more, even if it changes nothing.

A little girl just turned three. She is beautiful. She is innocent. She has her father’s face, a beautiful face. I have never met her, and that breaks my heart. He grew up in my house. Like one of my kids.

We’ll get through COVID-19. I just know it. When we do, I hope that we’ll start looking at addiction. It hits all of us, even those who don’t think it does.

Easter 2020 sucked, not just because we are all in lockdown. This country has ignored the opioid crisis, the way we ignored Corona, at least initially. People still argue that it is a parenting issue, a moral issue, all sorts of bullshit. I’m not even going to get into the Sackler family. That’s an issue I am still trying to wrap my head around.

I want us to get through this pandemic. But then I want us to focus on the kids, our kids, the adults, all of the people who are struggling with addiction. It isn’t just the weak or those lacking morals. You can say I was a shitty mother. I don’t care. I’ve never cared about what people think about me. This is an issue that is bigger than all of us. It isn’t just my kid or my kids’ friends.

A kid I love messaged me last week. It was beautiful. It made me cry. I couldn’t reach him tonight. That made me cry harder. You don’t have to understand that.

People are dying from COVID-19. Let’s fix that. Then let’s fix something that has been affecting us, even those who think they’ve escaped it.

People are dying. Families are being destroyed. From addiction. Let’s fix that. Let’s get through COVID-19, and then lets deal with that other pandemic that has been sweeping our nation. Let’s deal with addiction.

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